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The Black Crowes Have Broken Up

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Rich Robinson has confirmed what many Black Crowes fans must have sadly expected, saying “the band has broken up.”

That follows a long period in which Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson has been focused on his own group — the Chris Robinson Brotherhood — while Rich Robinson put out his third solo album, ‘The Ceaseless Sight,’ last June. The Black Crowes haven’t been on stage together since December 2013.

Of course, they previously split in 2002, and went on hiatus eight years later, but returned in both instances. This time, however, it appears the Black Crowes are gone for good.

Apparently at issue, according to Robinson’s official statement, is ownership of the band itself — which has included Rich Robinson and his brother Chris Robinson through every incarnation going back to 1985. Steve Gorman joined in 1987. Rich Robinson frames their disagreement as one in which Chris Robinson is attempting to seize control from the other two.

“I love my brother and respect his talent,” Rich Robinson says, “but his present demand that I must give up my equal share of the band and that our drummer for 28 years and original partner, Steve Gorman, relinquish 100 percent of his share, reducing him to a salaried employee, is not something I could agree to.”

Chris Robinson, meanwhile, all but confirmed he’d moved on earlier this week. “I know the Black Crowes are not going to turn around and be something that I think is super amazing again and fun and vibrant with the energy I’m looking for,” he told Smashing Interviews.

Best known for the turn-of-the-’90s hit ‘She Talks to Angels’ and their cover of ‘Hard to Handle,’ the Black Crowes’ most recent original studio effort was ‘Warpaint,’ issued back in 2008. That album arrived after an eight-year wait. They’ve since released a pair of live projects (2009’s ‘Before the Frost…Until the Freeze,’ then 2013’s ‘Wiser for the Time‘) and an acoustic covers LP (2010’s ‘Croweology’) before turning their attentions elsewhere.

Rich Robinson seemed to be leaving with a heavy heart. “I hold my time with the Black Crowes with the utmost respect and sincerest appreciation,” he said. “It is a huge swath of my life’s body of work. I couldn’t be more proud of what we accomplished and deeply moved by the relationships people created and maintained with my music. That alone is the greatest honor of being a musician.”

Next: Top 10 Black Crowes Songs

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